GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (30-17)
at HOUSTON ROCKETS (26-23)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Houston -2.5, Total: 216.5
Two sizzling-hot teams collide in Houston on Tuesday night when the Warriors visit the Rockets.
Golden State has reeled off four straight wins (3-1 ATS), including three by at least a dozen points. The Warriors shot 54% FG in back-to-back road wins at Toronto (by 12 points) and at Cleveland (by 13 points) before returning home to edge Dallas by 3 and crush Phoenix by 20 on Saturday. Houston is 4-1 (SU and ATS) in its past five games with all four victories coming by at least 13 points. The Rockets won at New Orleans by 18, versus Brooklyn by 13, at Utah by 45, lost at Denver and then crushed Charlotte by 14 on Saturday. These clubs are meeting for the first time this season, but in the past five calendar years, this series has been quite lopsided with Houston going 14-2 SU (11-5 ATS) against Golden State, including a perfect 8-0 SU (7-1 ATS) at Toyota Center, outscoring the Warriors by 15.0 PPG during this home win streak. Rockets PG Jeremy Lin tweaked his ankle in Monday's practice, but is expected to start on Tuesday. Houston SF Carlos Delfino (10.5 PPG) hurt his elbow in Monday's win and is questionable for this game.
Which high-scoring team will prevail on Tuesday night? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are an outstanding 31-12 (72%) in the past 11 days with StatFox Brian going 10-3 (77%), StatFox Gary at 11-4 (73%), and StatFox Scott at 10-5 (67%) since Jan. 25. For the season, Scott is a whopping 59% (72-50) in Totals, while Gary is a solid 52.1% (62-57-4). For NBA Best Bets, the experts are a collective 24-18 ATS (57%) over the past six days, with StatFox Dave going 9-5 ATS (64%) over this stretch. Scott is 9-3 ATS (75%) in his past seven days of Best Bets and is now 55% ATS (73-61-1) for the season.
Golden State has been extremely efficient during its four-game surge, scoring 108.8 PPG on 50.1% FG, 47.1% threes and 77.3% FT. The Warriors are also dishing out 28.3 APG and just 13.5 TOPG (2.1 Ast/TO ratio) during the win streak. Although PG Stephen Curry (21.1 PPG, 6.5 APG) didn't play during two of these victories because of an ankle injury, he certainly looked healthy in Saturday's win over Phoenix with 29 points (11-of-20 FG, 6-of-10 threes) and eight assists. But Curry has shot much worse on the road (41.8% FG) than at home (46.4% FG) and makes just 39.6% FG in three career visits to Houston. PF David Lee (19.4 PPG, 11.1 RPG) has 11 double-doubles in his past 13 games and is averaging 18.0 PPG and 14.3 RPG during the team's four-game win streak. He leads the NBA with 31 double-doubles and became the first NBA player since 2003 (Kevin Garnett) to post 15+ points, 12+ rebounds and 7+ assists in four consecutive games. Since 2009, Lee has averaged 18.4 PPG (56% FG) and 11.6 RPG in nine games versus the Rockets, but was held to 12 points and five rebounds in his most recent meeting with Houston last March. SG Klay Thompson (16.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG) has been on fire during the win streak with 23.8 PPG on 51% FG and 52% threes (14-of-27) with 5.5 RPG in the four games. He also pumped in 24 points (9-of-19 FG) with four boards in his team's most recent meeting with Houston last April. PG Jarrett Jack (12.6 PPG, 5.9 APG) has done a fine job running the offense, especially when Curry was out. In his past three games, Jack has 15.0 PPG and 9.3 APG. C Andrew Bogut (7.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG) has also been a fine contributor since his long injury layoff, averaging 10.3 PPG (54% FG), 6.7 RPG and 3.3 BPG in his first three games back.
The Rockets offense has been outstanding in the past five games, reaching 100 points in each game and averaging 112.6 PPG on 50% FG, 42% threes and 77% FT. They are also dominating the glass during this surge with a hefty +10.2 RPG margin (46.0 to 35.8). SG James Harden (25.8 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.5 RPG) has topped the 20-point mark in seven straight games, averaging 25.4 PPG on 45% FG) plus 6.7 APG and 5.1 RPG. Harden posted his first career triple-double in Saturday's win over Charlotte, tallying 21 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. He was also outstanding versus the Warriors last season, averaging 21.0 PPG (53% FG) and 3.7 APG in three meetings when he was with Oklahoma City. SF Chandler Parsons (14.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.6 APG) has been sizzling in the past four contests with 18.3 PPG on 61% FG and 8-of-20 threes (40%). He posted a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday. Parsons also averaged 13.0 PPG (47% FG) in just 27.7 MPG versus Golden State last season. PG Jeremy Lin (12.2 PPG, 6.1 APG) appears to be turning the corner from a season-long shooting funk. He's made 50% of his shots (39% threes) in the past five games, which is a big improvement from the 42% FG clip (28% threes) in the first 44 games this season. PF Patrick Patterson (11.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG) is coming off his second-highest scoring output of the season on Saturday, netting 24 points on a near-perfect 10-of-12 shooting. During his team's 4-1 surge, Patterson is averaging 14.2 PPG on a blistering 69% FG, but has nearly as many fouls (10) as rebounds (13) in the past four contests. C Omer Asik (10.2 PPG, 11.4 RPG) has been a rebounding machine in his past four games, grabbing at least 15 boards in each game and averaging 17.0 RPG in this stretch. Asik also scored 13.3 PPG on 60% FG in the four contests.